The 10 Best Lightweight Laptops of 2020

Ultrabooks fulfill all of your computing needs without the added bulk and weight

The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
Introduction

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The Rundown
Best Overall:
Dell XPS 13 at Amazon
"Tough enough to withstand the daily rigors of commuting, classes, and wherever else you need to take your laptop"
"Designed with businesses in mind, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon prioritizes efficiency, versatility, and security."
"Designed specifically for portability, it combines the versatility of a tablet with the features of a full-size laptop."
Best for Photo Editing:
HP Spectre x360 15 at Amazon
"Gives photo editors the touchscreen and stylus control of a tablet, combined with the power and full-sized keyboard of a laptop."
"Has a 360-degree hinge that lets you flip the screen all the way around and use the 12.5-inch touchscreen display like a tablet."
Best for Students:
Google Pixelbook Go at Amazon
"Has a 13-inch HD touchscreen display and stereo speakers that are perfect for both homework and study breaks."
"A powerful gaming machine that weighs barely three pounds and is just 0.6 inches thick."
Best for Writers:
ASUS ZenBook UX333FA at Amazon
"Weighing only 2.6 pounds, it's super portable and holds up to 14 hours of battery life per charge."
"A powerful and surprisingly affordable device that still manages to be lightweight at 2.9 pounds—a must for students or commuters."
Best for Video Editing:
Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch) at Amazon
"Has a 9th-Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM to keep even the most demanding programs running smoothly."

Make your commute smoother by incorporating one of the best lightweight laptops currently on the market. The very slight heft of these machines makes them super portable and travel friendly. Some of the laptops on this list even weigh under two pounds, allowing for more convenient storage in your carrying case of choice.

These laptops might lack in weight, but that doesn't mean they have to compromise anywhere else! For example, the Dell XPS 13 (9370) features a 4k touch screen display, durable unibody design, and upgraded processing speeds! Other top picks include the Microsoft Surface Pro X, which weighs in at 1.7 pounds, comes with built-in LTE connectivity, and has a removable keyboard to make traveling extraordinarily untroublesome. Keep in mind that while on the go, charging your device could be a challenge, yet it doesn't have to be because we have rounded up The 7 Best Portable Laptop Chargers to make that issue disappear!

Check out the best lightweight laptops below. Also, be sure to check out our constantly updated guide to the best laptop deals happening right now, for great machines at steep discounts.

Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 (9370)

What We Like
  • Durable unibody design

  • 4K touch screen display

  • Upgraded processing speeds

What We Don't Like
  • 13.3-inch screen on the smaller side

This isn’t just our favorite lightweight laptop — it’s one of our favorite laptops full-stop. Dell's XPS laptops have a reputation as reliable and versatile machines, and this 13-inch 2019 update adds further improvements to this already-solid model.  

At a mere 2.8 pounds, the Dell XPS 13 is remarkably portable and its edge-to-edge screen doesn't waste an inch of available real-estate. This version features an updated 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB 2133MHz memory for faster performance, multitasking, and seamless switching between applications. Made from a single block of aluminum with a Gorilla Glass screen, it’s also tough enough to withstand the daily rigors of commuting, classes, and wherever else you need to take your laptop.

Best for Work: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

What We Like
  • Lightweight at 2.5 pounds

  • Touch fingerprint reader

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Designed with businesses in mind, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon prioritizes efficiency, versatility, and security. And at only 2.5 pounds, it combines a lightweight and portable frame with a 14-inch FHD display, making it easy to carry on your commute and large enough that you won’t miss your office monitor. 

This model of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with a 6th-gen Intel Core i5 processor that’s powerful enough to handle everyday business applications while preserving precious battery life (because there are few things worse than having your laptop die in the middle of a meeting). Its 8GB of memory allows for much-needed multitasking, and 512GB of SSD storage provides plenty of room for large files and software packages. Lenovo is also taking security seriously by including a Touch fingerprint reader. Biometric authentication is becoming increasingly popular as a security measure and can give you some extra peace of mind when storing sensitive information on your work computer. 

Best for Travel: Microsoft Surface Pro X

What We Like
  • Super lightweight at 1.7 pounds

  • 2-in-1 design works as both laptop and tablet

  • Built-in LTE connectivity

What We Don't Like
  • Keyboard and stylus sold separately

If you’re always on the go — traveling on business, working remotely, or simply commuting to the office every day — then lugging around a heavy laptop can be a pain. The Microsoft Surface Pro X is a truly streamlined option that weighs only 1.7 pounds and is designed specifically for portability. With a 13-inch touchscreen, attachable keyboard, and kickstand display, the Surface Pro X combines the versatility of a tablet with the features of a full-size laptop. The screen is only 7.33mm thick and has almost no bezel at all, giving you an immersive viewing experience that doesn’t feel cramped or condensed like many other 2-in-1 devices.

But perhaps the most travel-friendly feature on the Microsoft Surface Pro X is the built-in LTE connectivity. Just like your smartphone, this device doesn’t need Wi-Fi to access the internet. This is a huge benefit for anyone who works on public transport or is otherwise working without reliable Wi-Fi. It’s also a plus for people who want to work outside the office but don’t necessarily want to connect to the local coffee shop’s unprotected network.

Best for Photo Editing: HP Spectre x360 15

What We Like
  • 2-in-1 design for use as a laptop and tablet

  • Display Control color calibration settings

  • Stylus included

What We Don't Like
  • Keyboard not detachable

Photo editors have similar needs to video editors, though they may be able to save a little money by not completely maxing out their laptop’s processing performance. The Spectre x360 15 from HP is a versatile 2-in-1 device that gives photo editors the touchscreen and stylus control of a tablet (a distinct advantage when working with certain kinds of editing software) and combines it with the power and full-sized keyboard of a laptop. An Intel Core i7 processor and 20GB of available memory ensures that complex editing programs won’t slow down your machine, and the 15-inch display with eye-popping 4K resolution lets you see every detail in your photographs. It also has 512GB of SSD memory so you’ll have plenty of room, even for libraries of large image files. 

Best Budget: ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

What We Like
  • 360-degree hinge for tablet functionality

  • Automatic security updates with Chrome OS

  • Weighs only 2.65 pounds

What We Don't Like
  • Short battery life

  • Keyboard not detachable

  • Bulky in tablet mode

If you’re looking for a lightweight laptop that’s also easy on your wallet, check out the Asus Chromebook Flip C302. This ultra-versatile 2-in-1 laptop lets you flip the screen all the way around and use the 12.5-inch touchscreen display like a tablet. The best part: you never have to sacrifice the convenience of a full keyboard. 

The Chromebook Flip C302 is super portable at only 2.65 pounds, and with its 2-in-1 design, you can leave your other devices at home. Plus, 10 hours of use per charge means you can forget the charger at home, too. It comes equipped with an Intel Core M-series processor with 4GB RAM, suitable for most productivity tasks, browsing, and entertainment. The Chrome OS also provides automatic security updates and antivirus protection to keep your device secure. 

Best for Students: Google Pixelbook Go

What We Like
  • Automatic security updates with Chrome OS

  • Charges up to 2 hours of battery life in 20 minutes

  • 8th-Gen Intel Core processor

What We Don't Like
  • Maximum 256GB of storage

If you need a laptop for the classroom, you’re going to want to find something lightweight and fast that’s able to hold a charge all day. The Google Pixelbook Go weighs only two pounds and is just 13mm thick, so it won’t weigh down your backpack or add bulk to your bookbag. It also has a 13-inch HD touchscreen display and stereo speakers that are perfect for both homework and "study breaks" when you’re binge-watching your favorite show. 

The 8th-gen Intel Core processor is responsive and great for multitasking, and the Chrome OS automatically updates to keep your laptop secure and running smoothly. If you forget your charger, no need to panic: the Pixelbook Go can hold a charge for up to 12 hours and with its quick charge feature, just 20 minutes plugged in gives you up to two extra hours of use.

Best for Gaming: Razer Blade Stealth 13

What We Like
  • Weighs only 3 pounds

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics

  • Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM

What We Don't Like
  • Fingerprints are super visible

“Lightweight gaming laptop” may sound contradictory as many high-performance laptops can feel like a brick in your bag. But Razer is changing the game with the new Razer Blade Stealth, a powerful gaming machine that weighs barely three pounds and is just 0.6 inches thick. The most impressive part: it doesn’t compromise on performance. 

The star of the show is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, which delivers cutting-edge graphics and hits twice the speed of the GeForce GTX 950M. If you want flawless performance on the newest titles, the Blade Stealth has you covered. If you want to upgrade to a full desktop-grade gaming experience, this laptop can also be easily connected to Razer’s Core X EGPU (sold separately). It runs an Intel Core i7 processor, has 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD storage. Whether you’re gaming, working, studying, or watching movies, the Razer Blade Stealth is a stylish, powerful, and low-profile laptop that’s built to punch above its weight class. 

Best for Writers: ASUS ZenBook UX333FA

What We Like
  • ErgoLift hinge design for comfortable typing

  • Up to 14 hours of battery life per charge

  • Windows Hello hands-free login

What We Don't Like
  • Reports of trackpad issues

If you’re using your laptop primarily for writing, it’s important to find something that’s comfortable to type on and light enough to take with you whenever you need a change of scenery. And in case your favorite cafe window seat doesn’t have an outlet nearby, you’ll also want plenty of battery life to hold you over. The ultra-slim Asus ZenBook UX333FA checks those boxes. Weighing only 2.6 pounds and holding up to 14 hours of battery life per charge, this laptop is super portable and ready to work all day.

It’s also more compact than many of the other devices on this list — it has a 13.3-inch screen and is only 0.6 inches thick, making it the perfect fit for smaller bags and backpacks. But perhaps the most writer-friendly feature is its ErgoLift hinge design. When you open the laptop, it props up the keyboard slightly for optimal typing comfort. The ZenBook UX333FA also features a 95 percent screen-to-body ratio, Windows Hello for hands-free login, and connectivity for a wide variety of inputs.

Best for Coding: Huawei MateBook X Pro

What We Like
  • 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM

  • NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card

  • Great value

What We Don't Like
  • Oddly-placed camera

  • Heats up easily

If you’re looking to buy a laptop for programming, you’re going to want to prioritize processing power and memory. A roomy screen is also a boon for any time you’re away from your monitor setup. With these priorities in mind, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is a powerful and surprisingly affordable device that still manages to be lightweight at 2.9 pounds—a must for students or commuters who need to take their laptops on the go. Featuring an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, the MateBook X Pro has the power under the hood to keep things running smoothly. These specs make it comparable to much more expensive laptops. 

When not at work, the MateBook X Pro also features a beautiful 13.9-inch 3K display with ultra-thin bezels and a 91% screen-to-body ratio paired with a NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU for gaming.

Best for Video Editing: Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch)

What We Like
  • 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone

  • 9th-Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 processor

  • Can be configured with up to 8TB of SSD storage

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Heavy at 4.3 pounds

A laptop for video editing needs a beautiful display and plenty of power to run complex editing software. With a 16-inch Retina Display, the latest MacBook Pro has the largest screen on any Apple laptop to date. It also has True Tone technology that renders true-to-life color, so your videos will look their absolute best. But perhaps most importantly for video editors, the MacBook Pro has a 9th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM to keep even the most demanding programs running smoothly. This kind of power is essential when working with video files—if you need even more muscle, you can configure it with an 8-core Intel Core i9 processor to handle extremely high-res footage and even 3D rendering. There are also options for up to 8TB of SSD storage so you can ditch those external hard drives if you really want to. Amazingly, all this power is contained in a lightweight package. The 16-inch MacBook Pro weighs in at about four pounds, making it a truly mobile editing workstation.

What to Look for in a Lightweight Laptop

Battery life - One of the best features of lightweight computers is that their batteries tend to last longer. If you’ll be using your laptop on a plane or in a coffee shop, you’ll want to check its expected battery life so you aren’t constantly in search of an outlet.

Screen size - If 13-inch laptops are too small for you, we have good news: It’s not hard to find a lightweight 15-inch laptop. You’re likely going to have to sacrifice a little bit of weight for a larger screen, but if this will be your primary device, it might be worth an extra pound or two.

Specs - Lightweight laptops save on weight by having lower specs than comparable heavier models. These machines are often perfect for emailing and browsing the Internet. However, if you’re planning on doing some heavy-duty video editing, it’s important to pay attention to features such as processing power and RAM to ensure that your machine will be capable of doing what you need it to do.